Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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Fatal shooting in Sacramento involved teen with assault weapon

Roseville residents have no doubt heard by now of the brewing controversy involving the Sacramento Police Department. On July 7, a 17-year-old was shot and killed in an incident involving two police officers. The shooting was apparently triggered by the youth's possession of an assault weapon, which was allegedly found on him as the police stopped him and another young man for questioning.

The story has some similarities to the ongoing controversy surrounding the shooting of Florida teen Trayvon Martin by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman. But unlike that incident, the July 7 shooting in Meadowview had multiple witnesses.

All kinds of firearms, but assault weapons in particular, are of special interest to the authorities. That can easily be seen by California's public policy approach to guns and the severe penalties involved when someone faces a weapons charge conviction. Gun control laws are only getting more complex, and the penalties for breaking these laws can range all the way from probation to prison time.

From the July 7 shooting, there are already people coming out with various opinions of what happened. Some who witnessed the confrontation say that the teen resisted the police, but that the police could have easily disarmed him. Others say that the police were just doing their jobs. The two officers involved were placed on paid administrative leave while the investigation continues.

Anytime firearms are involved in a situation, the consequences can be dire. Sometimes quick decisions are made, and the results are disastrous. And like the Trayvon Martin case, all the public can do is wait for investigators to return their findings.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Teenager killed by officer during struggle is ID'd," Loretta Kalb, July 9, 2012

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